GregHorrorShow: Game Awards 2013

GameAwards2013Main

Well what a year it’s been for gaming! With the arrival of new consoles in the Autumn we were left wondering whether the support would still be there for the PS3 and if you needed convincing you only had to look at The Last Of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and Gran Turismo 6 to see there is life in the old dog yet.

As the PS4 didn’t arrive until November 29th (and I didn’t receive mine until early December) nothing for that platform will be eligible for this year’s awards (as they run November to November). Also there were a few games I held off of so I could get the superior PS4 version, namely Assassin’s Creed IV and Battlefield 4, so they also won’t feature.

We start with a new award, that recognizes the fact that I simply can’t play every game within the year. The ‘Missed Gem’ award goes to a game from the previous year that I didn’t play until this year but feel would’ve warranted a mention last time out if I had played it in time.

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MISSED GEM OF 2012

GameAwards2013Gem

WINNER: Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead (Season 1)

Everyone has rightfully raved about The Walking Dead. I’m one of them (check out my review) and I can safely say it was a fantastic experience. It’s a point and click adventure game, which wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea but the story here is soooo good. Highly recommended.

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

GameAwards2013Innovation

Winner: Grand Theft Auto V (Multi Character Selection)

GTA V was a trend setter in many ways but one of the most impressive aspects of the game was the way you could switch between the main characters at will. With a button press you would be pulled to an overhead view of the map, moved across to wherever the other character was and then plonked down to them. This in itself isn’t a completely original idea, Driver: San Francisco had a similar mechanic that allowed you to swap between vehicles. The difference here are the little character vignettes when you land with a new character; Franklin pulling his friend away from a fight, Michael finishing a coffee and tossing the cup away or Trevor… well God knows what Trevor will be doing! This small touch gives you a real feeling that the world of GTA V is continuing around you at all times. It’s a very nice mechanic.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Crysis 3 (Multiplayer Highlights)
  • Bioshock Infinite (Skyhooks)
  • Metal Gear Rising (Precision Cutting)

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BEST DLC (CONTENT)

GameAwards2013DLC

WINNER: Mass Effect 3: Citadel

The ending of Mass Effect 3 left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, even with the update Bioware released. If that was the case for you, or if you just loved the game/series then give the Citadel DLC a spin. This is the ‘Christmas Special’ of Mass Effect, a set of side missions that see you fighting off enemies, carrying out a heist and planning a party for your crew… Yes, that’s right organizing and hosting a party 🙂 It. Is. Awesome. And great fan service. The Walking Dead: 400 Days also deserves a mention as it carried on with the hard choices of season 1 straight off the bat, even if the characters were new. Soul Sacrifice on Vita was supported with a ridiculous amount of free DLC post launch which was all really cool so make sure you check that out as well.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Battlefield 3 – End Game
  • The Walking Dead – 400 Days
  • Soul Sacrifice – Various Free DLC Packs

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BEST DOWNLOAD ONLY GAME

Hotline Miami 1

WINNER: Hotline Miami (Vita)

Enough people were raving about it on PC last year but 2013 was the year I finally got my hands on Hotline Miami – the super fast, super violent and super challenging top down kill fest. I absolutely loved this game and don’t know anyone who played it that didn’t get hooked. The Vita version looks super crisp and the soundtrack is awesome. Most of the games in this category I played on Vita (though all of these were on PS3 as well) with some great titles like Guacamelee, Thomas Was Alone and Lone Survivor. Another pleasant surprise was Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – it had Robocop’s gun in it! ROBOCOP’S GUN!! 🙂

RUNNERS UP:

  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Guacamelee (Vita)
  • Thomas Was Alone (Vita)

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2014

GameAwards2013MostWanted

WINNER: Infamous: Second Son

Well, the clear winner for this in my eyes was Cyberpunk 2077 but it turns out that isn’t arriving until 2015 so I had to have a rethink! A new Uncharted has me interested but so little is known about it at this stage, same goes for Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. The Witcher 3 and The Order: 1886 are definitely on my radar and No Man’s Sky looked awesome at VGX earlier this month. For me, at the moment, it has to be Infamous: Second Son. The game looks so damn good up close (I wasn’t allowed to play it but watched a hands off level playthrough) I could barely believe it. I’m hyped for this one, roll on March.

RUNNERS UP:

  • The Witcher 3
  • The Order: 1886
  • No Man’s Sky

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BEST GAME TRAILER

*Warning Contains Strong Language*

WINNER: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

I’m not sure I need many words here, as someone who grew up in the 1980’s… just watch the Blood Dragon trailer to see why it won 🙂 GTA always has great trailers and the below is no exception, super use of music as well. Love this Last Of Us one, not always a fan of live action stuff but this is clever. And Killzone always looks amazing, Shadow Fall is no different.

RUNNERS UP:

GTA V

Last Of Us

Killzone Shadow Fall

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BEST PS VITA GAME

GameAwards2013VitaGame

WINNER: Persona 4 The Golden

If you’d told me a year ago that a Japanese RPG would win my Vita Game Of The Year in a year when a Killzone title came to Vita, I would’ve called you a liar. I haven’t really ever played a JRPG before but then again Persona 4: The Golden isn’t like other JRPG’s. Like The Walking Dead this is a game all about your relationships with characters (Oh Chie) and P4G grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. Don’t let the fact Killzone: Mercenary didn’t pick up GOTY deter you from grabbing it if you have a Vita – it’s the best handheld shooter ever made. Soul Sacrifice was another title I might not have played on a home console but it just seems like a great fit on Vita and it’s really fun in short bursts. Tearaway was a beautiful game that put you in a superbly realized papercraft world and utilised all of the best Vita features. A charming game.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Soul Sacrifice
  • Tearaway
  • Killzone: Mercenary

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BEST GRAPHICS

GameAwards2013Graphics

WINNER: Beyond: Two Souls

It was a pretty close run race in this category with four superb looking games. The Last Of Us probably came closest to nabbing this with it’s fully realized, if grim, world and characters but while the animation of Beyond: Two Souls might’ve been off at times, graphically the game was stunning. Especially impressive considering they were using actors that people recognize and could more easily spot any faults. Also the fire/flame effects were majorly impressive. Los Santos in GTA V was such a wonder to look at sometimes I would just stop and admire the view – I can’t wait to see what Rockstar deliver on PS4. And while it was stylized, Bioshock Infinite created a beautiful world in Columbia and then filled it with dark, interesting people. Definitely a world to be explored and experienced.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • GTA V
  • The Last Of Us

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BEST STORYLINE

GameAwards2013Story

WINNER: Bioshock Infinite

There have been some great stories to play through this year and again The Last Of Us came very close to taking this award but this year’s winner is Bioshock Infinite. A title that had me guessing throughout and while I thought I had the twist sussed it turned out to be one of many that, by the time the credits rolled, left me reeling. As I uncovered more and more clues while playing through it was satisfying to put the pieces together. I thought Crystal Dynamics did a great job with the Tomb Raider reboot but the story was strongest in those opening few hours and fell away a bit beyond that. Those few hours though… what a ride. DmC was one of my more pleasant surprises this year (all round in fact) and I enjoyed the game’s story of greed and corruption and thought the world they’d created was very fleshed out.

RUNNERS UP:

  • The Last Of Us
  • Tomb Raider
  • DmC

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

GameAwards2013Score

WINNER: Persona 4: The Golden (Vita)

This was a really difficult category to decide on – all four of these are great scores that you should definitely check out. GTA V was the surprise for me as I didn’t expect the score to be so awesome and well suited to the heist aspect of the game. The Last Of Us and Bioshock Infinite were more subtle but packed a big punch when necessary. However the award goes to Persona 4: The Golden for it’s crazy, fun and memorable score, which includes a few songs written for the game that are used during battles. There were plenty of other great scores worth checking out from this year, I’d also recommend Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Beyond: Two Souls.

RUNNERS UP:

  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • The Last Of Us

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

Hotline Miami 3

WINNER: Hotline Miami (Vita)

I mentioned Hotline Miami last year because I’d heard the soundtrack but hadn’t played the game. Nothing can quite prepare you for what is one of the most powerful collections of tracks in gaming. The songs here perfectly capture the feel of the game and lend a kind of hypnotic vibe to proceedings. Absolutely brilliant. The Grand Theft Auto games always have stellar licensed material and GTA V is no different, featuring great songs across lots of different radio stations. Bioshock Infinite‘s use of tears to play songs was inspired, especially as it also featured ‘Columbia’ versions of them all in game as well. And Far Cry 3, well that M.I.A use was brilliant and the Skrillex track fitted so well with the mission it was used on – just good solid choices.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Far Cry 3
  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite

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BEST VOICE ACTING

GameAwards2013Voice

WINNER: The Last Of Us

This was another tough category this year as so many games delivered massive performances in terms of acting. The Last Of Us though is a deserving winner, with Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson bringing most to the table with solid support from, among others, Nolan North. Baker delivered another fantastic performance as Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite alongside the excellent Courtnee Draper. Steven Ogg as Trevor gets GTA V a mention just on his own and alongside his other cast members helped to make our stay in Los Santos a memorable one. I suppose when you hire big name actors like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe you expect big things but as we’ve seen in the past bringing Hollywood to games doesn’t always work out. Luckily for us with Beyond: Two Souls it did this time and Page’s delivery and commitment to the role added real depth to her character Jodie Holmes.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • GTA V
  • Beyond: Two Souls

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

GameAwards2013Single

WINNER: The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us is one of those games that has to be played to be believed. Titles such as Uncharted 2 and Journey carry the same gravitas and The Last Of Us can be added to that list of games that anyone with a PS3 should play. The journey of Ellie and Joel during the game is astounding and the world is a brutal, beautiful place to (carefully) explore. The Clickers were hideous enemies and the fact they could kill you in one hit just made things worse. Everything works here – the scarcity of ammo/supplies, the confined spaces you’d find yourself in and also little touches like finding the after effects of horrific events and finding out the mini storylines contained within. While GTA V and Persona 4: The Golden are totally different styles of game I stuck almost 60 hours into each of their single player offerings this year, which is a testament to their quality. And while the combat did drag at times in Bioshock Infinite, overall it was just such a great game that you can’t do anything but recommend it.

RUNNERS UP:

  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Persona 4 The Golden (Vita)

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

GameAwards2013Online

WINNER: GTA Online

It says a lot about the opening 6 months of 2013 that during that time my most played online games were Killzone 3 (2011), Mass Effect 3 (2012) and Battlefield 3 (2011). The one new thing I played in this time was Far Cry 3, which had a nice co-op online mode and handled really well, in terms of feel of weapons etc. Then June hit and The Last Of Us arrived, with it’s new and fresh idea of what multiplayer could be. Run and gun was out, scavenge and hide was in. I had some very tense rounds of this immensely underrated online offering. Killzone: Mercenary offered Vita owners a glimpse of what an FPS title could do online and it was very fun, despite a few issues with spawn point locations. But the award this year goes to GTA Online. Finally released in October it was… well, broken to be honest. But now that it’s (mainly) fixed it is an absolute blast. Whether doing scripted missions or just messing about with friends it has been some of my most memorable online gaming in the last few years.

RUNNERS UP:

  • The Last Of Us
  • Far Cry 3
  • Killzone Mercenary (Vita)

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GAME OF THE YEAR

TheLastOfUs 2

WINNER: The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us takes this year’s award – a combination of it’s superlative single player and fantastic online offering is more than enough to justify it’s win. All four nominees are outrageously great games and well worth playing. Bioshock Infinite‘s mix of bright, vibrant colours, stylised graphics and dark, sinister undercurrent make for a compelling game and while Persona 4: The Golden shares some characteristics with Irrational Game’s title it also has a wealth of depth that left me stunned. In GTA V Rockstar have created a living, breathing love/hate letter to L.A that will keep you gripped and amazed both online and offline.

RUNNERS UP:

  • GTA V
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Persona 4 The Golden (Vita)

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So there you have it!

There were plenty of other decent games that didn’t get nominated but I’d still recommend. Titles like Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Rain and Puppeteer to name a few.

It’s also been a good year for Vita owners with titles like Retro City Rampage, Guacamelee, Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, Stealth Inc., Lone Survivor and Spluenky making the jump over, along with exclusives like Persona 4 : The Golden, Soul Sacrifice, Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway. It was nice to see a Vita game crack the nominees list for Game Of The Year for the first time as well.

So what have you guys been playing? What have I missed? What was your favourite game this year?

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E3 2010 – The GregHorrorShow Wrap Up

 

So E3 has been and gone, leaving us to pick through the huge mass of info and game news that it’s left in it’s wake.

Not all of us were lucky enough to go to the actual show but fortunately Gametrailers.com and the like have managed to bring us footage and interviews from the show.

For a more in-depth look at some of the games from someone that was at E3, check out @Zvolen’s website Beyondthedpad.com

Well there’s a hell of a lot of stuff to get through – so let’s get started!

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MEDAL OF HONOR

Looks pretty interesting, especially in single player. On the multiplayer front it seems very similar to Battlefield, which is a good thing in one way but slightly disappointing in another.

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DEAD SPACE 2

More of the same from Issac Clarke and this is one I can’t wait for. Not a fan of jumpy horror stuff but the whole Dead Space universe is so rich I’m in!

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LITTLEBIGPLANET 2

Make your own games? Sounds like a win to me. Hopefully another decent story mode to work through before downloading loads of great user generated content.

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4

I’m fairly hopeful that this reboot will be decent enough – it looks great but it’s hard to tell without having actually played it. Looking forward to some sort of demo at a later date.

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INFAMOUS 2

Oh Sucker Punch. What have you done to Cole? 😡 The brooding, cool badass of the original has been replaced with a boyband reject – not a good look. Hopefully the game itself will live up to the standard of the first.

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TWISTED METAL

Really pleased about this announcement, been waiting for a new Twisted Metal for a long time and the team based mechanics look solid. Could be very cool indeed.

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KILLZONE 3

Looks like the clash between the ISA and the Helghast continues apace, which is great news for us fans of Killzone. 😎 3D has been added as well, though that isn’t of much interest to me.

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MOTORSTORM APOCALYPSE

I was sceptical about shifting the series to a city but am glad to have been proven wrong. With the option to drive under, over and even through buildings Motorstorm Apocalypse is one to watch out for.

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SPEC OPS: THE LINE

Great trailer huh? Initially shown off back in December, Spec Ops: The Line has stepped up to the plate and looks to have some nice tricks up it’s sleeve.

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ASSASSIN’S CREED – BROTHERHOOD

Wasn’t 100% sure how multiplayer would work in Assassin’s Creed but having seen some of the footage from E3 it seems to be pretty well implemented. Story wise we play as Ezio again which is definitely ok with me.

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GRAN TURISMO 5

Gran Turismo 5 – we’ve been waiting for this for about 6 years 😮 Hyper realistic driving sim – graphics do look truly amazing.

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BULLETSTORM

Was not sold on this game at all previously but the stuff I’ve seen from E3 looks cool as a single player game. Still not interested in this as a multiplayer experience but I’ll wait and see how it develops before making a decision on whether it’s one I’ll pick up.

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HOMEFRONT

Hadn’t heard much about this but I’m a sucker for alternate timelines so this ‘US-has-been-invaded’ story sits well with me. One to watch.

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KINECT / MOVE

Motion control has obviously played a big part at E3 this year with both Microsoft (Kinect) and Sony (Move) looking to gatecrash Nintendo’s (Wii) party. In my opinion Move is already head and shoulders above Kinect, and probably Wii, with regard to proper games… Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, Heavy Rain (patch), SOCOM 4, Resi Evil 5 and Time Crisis all confirmed. Even if I don’t wanna play them with Move at least the option is there and they are REAL GAMES that don’t involve sports resorts or yoga.

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SOCOM 4

More interested in this than previous instalments, mainly because they have boosted the single player aspect (ie there is one :lol:) and also the fact that via Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer I’ve learnt the value of teamwork. Could be a really good experience.

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DEAD RISING 2

Quite excited to get my hands on this one as the first game was an XBox exclusive and I’ve only heard good things about it. My only concern is will there be enough variation to keep me playing?

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FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS

I lost 25 hours of my life to Fallout 3 – I’ve already pencilled in at least another day for New Vegas 😆

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MORTAL KOMBAT

I’m not a huge fan of fighting games but I loved the original Mortal Kombat and this new reboot is taking it back to the franchise’s darker, gory roots. Expect plenty of fatalities upon release.

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GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

Like Bulletstorm, I pretty much had no interest in this prior to E3 but the thing that’s hooked me here is the potential for online co-op play. The gadgets look pretty cool as well. 😎

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RAGE

Still not sure on this game – looks like Borderlands? Guess that’s not a bad thing but how many Mad Max type games can you have?

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CRYSIS 2

This looks pretty sweet as a single player experience. Liking the style and the graphics are great.

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PORTAL 2 

VALVE even being at the Sony conference was a shock, especially having Gabe himself up there after all his slagging off of PS3 in the past. But Portal is a hugely respected game so I’ll make sure I work my way through that before approaching the sequel.

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METAL GEAR: RISING

NB. This trailer features graphic sword cutting – avoid if easily offended!

Metal Gear: Rising looked brilliant. Looks like a better version of WET‘s sword mechanics. Raiden as a bad ass? Who’d have thought it back in the MGS2 days 🙂

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GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA (PSP)

Wow. Ready At Dawn look set to continue where they left off. Ghost Of Sparta looks tasty and I suspect will be full of awesomesauce (as DK money shizzle might say :lol:)

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Disapointment-wise, I’d say CASTLEVANIA which I thought might be cool but looks like a poor man’s Bayonetta/God Of War 😦

DRIVER, with it’s car jumping mechanic looks a bit too gimmicky.

I was very disappointed there is no sign of a new HITMAN game 😥

Also whilst CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPs looks good graphically I’m not sold – especially as that rappel bit from the trailer was nicked wholesale from RAINBOW SIX (now that’s a game I’d like to see announced! :cool:)

Would’ve liked to have seen new information on Last Guardian, Batman 2, Resistance 3 (an announcement that it’s actually coming) or Agent but suspect we’ll have more info on those at the Tokyo game show in August.

Also no PSP2! Though perhaps with hindsight they were wise – if they are gonna do it – not to put it up against the Nintendo 3DS (which I won’t be getting but does look like a great bit of kit).

But you can’t have everything.

So to sum up, in order, my Top 10 MOST WANTED of E3:

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1 Killzone 3

2 Dead Space 2

3 Metal Gear Rising

4 Twisted Metal

5 Crysis 2

6 God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta

7 Medal Of Honor

8 LittleBigPlanet 2

9 Infamous 2

10 Motorstorm Apocalypse

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Let me know what you guys are most looking forward to!

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